No T.V.? Sheeeeeit.
"You didn't vote for Syesha? Sheeeit."
I was reading Arjewtino’s blog this morning where he wrote about the peer shame of texting in a vote for American Idol, but more importantly, the idea of dating a girl who doesn’t have a television set. I have to say that for a few years in my late teens and early twenties, I didn’t have a television set, (or a telephone or a computer.) I had a mattress on the floor in a room I had painted sky blue and airbrushed in multi-toned clouds. Ultimately I broke down and bought a tiny television set, and I have to say it was heaven to curl on the mattress at night, watching t.v. sideways. Life was a lot simpler then--and cheaper.
Growing up, I always had television. There is the famous moment in my family's history when my brother and I got up early on a Saturday morning to crank up the cartoon shows, and the television started emitting blue smoke, a strong electrical smell followed by a groggy Dad yanking the chord. I remember how upset my mother was, because part of the t.v. melted onto her oriental carpet; a carpet I have in my bedroom to this day. The bare spot is hidden, but I think it gives the carpet “character.”
There was only one boy in my elementary school that didn’t have television. I remember his name (which I won’t repeat here,) and I remember his family moved into the neighborhood when we were all in about fifth grade. For some reason, memory tells me his father was a German rocket scientist. Space, German and Mathematics, definitely. The boy’s hair was cut military short, and he always wore a gray crewneck sweatshirt to class. When he announced to his classmates that he had no television, I remember asking him what he did at night. He answered that he “spent time with his family, and his father helped him with his math homework.”
Thinking back, it’s odd, how such an obviously intelligent boy could be so removed from his classmates and his culture. I do know this. He was quite proud of the fact that he didn't watch television. Children spend the next day discussing what happened on t.v. as much as their adult counterparts at work. I was telling a friend about the comment I had left on Arjewtino’s blog, and he said, “I always thought of television as my third parent.”
I can’t imagine any parent in this day and age that wouldn’t utilize a television set in some manner. Blues Clues and Baby Einstein at the least. I am sure many censor the viewing subjects and viewing times. Some do not. Those parents are the same ones who take their kids to see the tee bagging in Borat, passing a pint of Barcardi 151 over the kid’s head.
"Where the Honey Nut Cheerios?"
"5-0 Coming Y'all. 5-0"...and I don't mean Hawaii 5-0*
* In HBO's The Wire (Season One) a lot of the story line centered on the drug trade in the low rises (poverty apartments.) The drug runners would yell out "5-0" to warn and scatter that the police were in the vicinity. There was one episode when three police go into the projects at 2 a.m. to roust, and the residents in the inner courtyard start throwing televisions down on their heads and their cruiser (which is later destroyed.) Cultural nirvana would be yelling 5-0 is coming, throwing your t.v. out the window while watching a re-run of Hawaii 5-0. At that moment in the world, every coconut would drop from every palm tree and split open to reveal a beatific Buddha Wo Fat. Steve Lord in his big wave hair would descend on a big wave swell of clouds, hanging ten and yelling "Book 'em Danno."